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The Northwest: Cordillera Mountains and Subtropica Yungas Overview

Stretching from sky-high peaks, (the three Cordillera mountain ranges) down to semitropical lowlands (the northern and southern Yungas), Bolivia's northwest region provides some of the most varied and spectacular trekking in the country. Relatively accessible from the capital, the area is still one of the best places for the adventurous to get off the traveler trail. It is difficult to visit the region independently, but tours, either privately or in small groups, can be easily arranged through travel agencies in La Paz.


The 200 kilometer-long mountain range of the Cordillera Real offers some fantastic high altitude experience for experienced mountaineers and hikers alike, with more than 600 peaks over the 5,000-meter mark, of varying difficulty. The even more remote Cordillera Apolobamba (to the north of the Cordillera Real, bordering Peru) and Madidi National Park can be difficult and often inhospitable area to visit, but as off-the-beaten-track travel goes, they are nearly unmatched. To the south of the Cordillera Real, the Cordillera Quimsa Cruz is the smallest of the Cordilleras, but similarly as remote and exciting as the Apolobamba.


In contrast, the Yungas, the area between the highlands and the Amazon basin, is a well-established chillout spot for Bolivian and foreign tourists alike, thanks to its pleasant year-round climate. The most frequented town in the Yungas is Coroico, which has a good supply of tourist services, including several good eateries and hotels. The colonial town of Sorata is also a popular weekend getaway thanks to its pretty streets and impressive scenery, and makes a good base for hiking and mountaineering expeditions.

Here are some related tips to help plan your trip to The Northwest: Cordillera Mountains and Subtropical Yungas: Chulumani Overview and Coroico Overview.

01 Mar 2010

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